Last week’s terror attack directed at Israeli’s who had just arrived on vacation in Bulgaria was tragically real.  Lives were ended in an instant; families were impacted by sudden death in a flash of a moment.  The lives of these families will unfortunately never be the same.

What was the same or familiar though, was the diplomatic rhetoric that followed these very sad and difficult events.  At a reception in the 5 Towns last Thursday evening and on the subject of the terror attack in Bulgaria, Israel’s US Ambassador, Michael Oren, said plainly that we should all be aware, “that this attack will not go un-responded to.” And on Sunday morning in his comments prior to his weekly cabinet meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu referencing this same ghastly and murderous assault said, “We will continue to fight forcefully against terror.”

We live in a very curious and even anxiety ridden time when all around us there seems to be a proclivity and disposition in the direction of violence.  And as we saw in Colorado last week there are no limitations to which people will go.  Once a person is bent on committing a terror act like that in Bulgaria or just some local like the person in Aurora, Colorado going off the deep end—anything is possible.

But obviously these extreme violent acts cannot be responded to with other violent reactions or responses without these situations spiraling out of control and ending up in full blown wars that no one really wants to fight.  The reality is that this is the way wars used to start.  It was rather simple in a way.  Years ago if an identifiable party or entity would fire a missile, for example, into a sovereign country—just one missile—it would be reason enough for a harsh military response.  But that’s not the case today.  Take Israel for example.  Rarely does a day go that does not have more than a few potentially deadly missiles directed at her citizenry.  Still, these thousands of otherwise conventional provocations go largely ignored.

Of course no country wants or likes to have to sit on their hands while the sovereignty of their country is pierced.  The irony to all this this is that even though the weaponry to fight these wars between countries or entities is significantly advanced still the reluctance to get onto these conflagrations is very great.  The problem with war these days—as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan—is that they are extremely difficult to end and to then extricate ones military from years of being dug into a country having the population depend on us for its safety.

Still, when there is an attack on innocent people like there was last week in Bulgaria or when missiles land in the midst of an unassuming civilian population in Israel, the natural reaction is to want to hit back and if possible to hit back so hard that the entity or country that tried to initiate a conflict learns a lesson and is reluctant to attack again.

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